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Sing If You’re Winning

I will never be able to imagine the daily excruciations of being black in America. Still less will I ever be able to understand what it’s like to be the first black presidential nominee of a major political party. And I’ll certainly never be able to understand what it’s like to have the contents of your iPod picked apart by the white media if you’re the first black presidential nominee of a major political party.

The forthcoming Rolling Stone lists Obama’s iPod selections, and the Guardian has the highlights. Just back up for a second: there’s no way that Obama can possibly win here. The subtext of everything here is racial — watch the media dissect, sotto voce, whether Obama is Too Black (Ludacris! Jay-Z!) and Not Black Enough (Bruce Springsteen? Sheryl Crow?), all at the same time. Get ready for Unreal Talk.

Look, people: Obama has the musical taste of a typical man in early middle age in the late 00s. You know what his iPod selections are? They’re like destined for the Spring 2010 editions of the CDs that they sell in Starbucks. And for any TV producer/Politico writer already preparing a piece on whether Obama is "pandering" to white America with his tastes: You’ll never be able to prove your case, and you look both stupid and racist. News flash: black people in their 40s also like rock and roll.

If I was Obama, I’d sneak behind my campaign offices for a smoke after the first wave of Rolling Stone fallout coverage hits. But I’d probably just be ambushed by a white reporter who wants to know if that’s a Newport or a Camel.

Update: More from Moe n Megan. Rock the ‘Bels. 

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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